From the Harz area in the center of Germany, dead spruce trees stand like white ghosts around the hilltops.
They’re victims of this bark beetle — a little insect that’s causing significant destruction throughout Germany.
“Because when you’ve got a drought you’ve got less sap flow and you’ve got less resin. If the trees are all healthy and have plenty of resin, then the bark beetle goes and gets trapped up from the resin so that it can not consume.”
Without a tacky resin to undergo, the Beatle has eaten its way through about 245,000 hectares of woods in Germany.
And with 2020 also turning out to be dry and warm, there’s no ending in sight.
“We aren’t utilized for this drought in the center of Europe,” states Friedhart Knolle, spokesperson for the Harz National park. “We people can accommodate, we’ve got air conditioners. The trees don’t have any air conditioners. Therefore, the trees which can not get used to the will perish.”
In the foothills of the Harz brackets, volunteers assist in re-plant trees within a place which was ruined by the bark beetle.
They’re planting many different trees, rather than big monoculture regions of only spruce. It’s a method of protecting the German forests for centuries.
“The woods does not need us” states forester Raik Scheffler. “It’d recover alone. But we want the forest. We need wood as a construction material. It’s the most environmentally friendly construction material which you may imagine, and it always grows back. Nevertheless, it is not just birch trees and willows grow back but also trees such as wood, we’re planting silver plated and sessile oak.”
The German government has spent 800 million euros to reinvent the woods, clearing out the dead trees and planting new ones. New trees will rise, however, the German woods will seem different.
Climate change is currently altering the way that Germany seems. An nobody understands what woods will look like in the long run.